Essay about the death penalty

You are welcome to disregard the questions and comments that immediately follow the highlighted language in each topic description. The questions and comments are intended for the potential benefit of students who – upon reading the topic descriptions, may experience a flash reaction along the lines of, “I have absolutely no idea where to go with the topic”

Following the topic descriptions, I set out “Supplemental Instructions.” To avoid confusion, I italicized the instructions so as to minimize the likelihood of any confusion. As always, please do not hesitate to call (ph. (661) 331-0311), or email me at, if you have any questions. Thank you, Konrad

1) The Death Penalty and the Tenth Amendment: Write about the fact that potential exposure to the death penalty in America depends on lines on a map, i.e., some states provide for the death penalty and others do not.

Underlying considerations for your potential consideration include the following: One may assert either the death penalty (i.e., state-sanctioned killing of a human being outside of war) as a means of social control is morally is right or wrong. Few matters more graphically present the raw authority of the state than its killing of a human being as a response to alleged criminal activity.

Or, perhaps there is no objective truth and the answer is non-binary, with reasonable minds fairly arriving at different conclusions. But, if so, what does one make of the disproportionate concentration of executions in the southern United States and of persons of color? Does the Xth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which cedes police powers to the States objectionably extend authority to states with demonstrated histories of racial animus?

Supplemental Instructions:

A) Avoid the use of the first-person tense. No “I personally believe,” or, “I think,” etc. You are writing an academic paper.

B) Support your arguments with citations, i.e, book/ document and page reference, versus simply offering your opinion as self-evident statements of truth. Limit your sources to class assigned texts, to wit, Feinman’s book, Milovanovic’s book (including – for your consideration, Durkheim, Weber, Marx, Legal Realism, Feminist, CLS, and CRT scholars, etc.), Garland’s book; the United States Constitution and Declaration of Independence; and materials posted on our CJ 301 Canvas program (e.g. videos and articles). You are absolutely entitled to embrace or spurn any scholar’s (or group of scholars) analysis.

[My reasoning for limiting sourcing to assigned class materials is that I want to avoid the Writing Assignment becoming a function of how well a student can pull from Google. Separately, I want to reward students as best I can who read and are familiar with class materials, or at least give them a big head start].

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